I always get mad when I’m cruising ebay and someone who knows nothing about printing has bought up all sorts of type from some auction and is doing something stupid with it like selling all the different A’s as one set or selling “an alphabet” with only one of each letter. So once in a while I browse various auction listings to see if I can get to type and stuff before the non-printers, and I find printing stuff quite often, but usually it is too far away. I’m wondering, when I come across a nice printing auction should I tell all the printers I know (by which I mean post it here) in hopes that someone knowledgeable about type and stuff or someone who will actually use it themselves can get to it before the annoying ebay sellers (I know not all ebay sellers are annoying, but lots of them are)? My only hesitation is that, say I’ve found an auction near me with all sorts of goodies, I might hope that no other printers know about it so I don’t have any other bidders driving up the prices. I don’t want to spill the beans on anyone’s secret auction finds. So my question is, when I’ve come across nice printing auctions, should I share the news or should I just keep quiet?

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if your close to Texas, or in the same state send me an email. You would have first pick.

It’s not likely that you are going to buy everything. Spread the word and take your chances. You’ll still get some good buys and so will others. What goes around, comes around. Generally.

ok! here’s what I’ve found recently:

January 14th in Tulsa, OK they’ll be auctioning off a bindery which, along with various monstrously large binding machines has a foil stamper, some cutters and drills and folders and trim-o-saws, a nice looking 12x18 kluge and what is listed as a 10x15 hand-fed kluge and a bunch of other stuff.

then somewhere in CA tentatively on january 28 they’re liquidating another print shop which consists mostly of a huge offset monster but also has various giant cutters and pre-press stuff and what looks to be a really nice, albeit slightly rusty sigwalt #5; no chase but still grasping it’s little trucks in it’s hooks!

I hope it’s okay for me to post this here; I’m not trying to sell anything myself, just hoping these homeless presses might find loving new homes!

by the way, you too can find printing press auctions in your area with this handy dandy resource!

I’m with Arie, post ‘em up. I have lousy luck finding current auctions. When I do most are never near me anyway. I’d love to hear about any out there. Might even make it to some.

here’s another one coming up soon on the 10th: dayton public schools surplus
they appear to have two big old pilots or something!

image: dayton.jpg


I think this would make a great catagory.

Courtney and others - This is a good suggestion except we do not need a new category. We already have the Letterpress Classifieds. From time to time people have used the Classifieds to alert others to auctions they have seen on other sites or newspapers.

The only restriction is for eBay auctions. As stated in the Eligibility guidelines, “We cannot accept ads that advertise active eBay auctions or stores. The volume of letterpress items on eBay is so great that our Classifieds pages would soon be overwhelmed by eBay ads, were we to accept them. The Classifieds at Briar Press is intended as an alternative to eBay for those who prefer more personal transactions.”

Feel free to use the Classifieds to post appropriate auctions that are found in local sites, newspapers, etc. The ads will reach a much larger group of people than if they are posted as Discussion topics, which really are not meant for advertising or generally read for that purpose.

How are you finding these auctions. I’ve been playing with that site you posted but with no luck.

I never have much luck searching for “letterpress,” most of the auctioneers don’t use that word. I usually try “printing press” and “printer’s” (with the quotes or else it will return all the auctions with “lot of 6 epson stylus printers”). Auctioneers like to advertise “printer’s tray” or “printer’s blocks.” I think using words like “vandercook,” or “miehle” or something that might be written on the equipment that an auctioneer might copy into the text would probably be good to try. 9 out of 10 results for printing press will have a drill press and something in it’s “original printing,” but the 10th one will be some guys estate that includes a pearl and 2 cabinets full of wood type or something fantastic like that, so sometimes you just have to be patient and read through a lot of junk (tip: ctrl f / command f brings up a “find” bar in most browsers so that you don’t actually have to read through the whole listing…)

I’d like to add some clarification to what Elizabeth said above.

The reason Briar Press is fairly strict about restricting eBay announcements is that we don’t want to see advertisements from eBay sellers crowd out those from dedicated printers and letterpress enthusiasts (in Classifieds) or the more substantial conversations that set the tone of the Discussion section.

On the other hand, if gillyfish or others want to share particularly interesting eBay finds with other readers, such activity, as gillyfish points out, is not the same as advertising. I especially appreciate the editorial approach that gillyfish has taken.

The line between sharing discoveries and advertising one’s own auctions is clear, I’m sure, to most of our readers. Perhaps these types of posts do deserve a separate category of discussion to separate them from other discussions. In the meantime, please feel free to share your worthwhile finds from all over the web, provided (as per our Discussion guidelines) that such posts do not constitute advertising.

Ooh! I found a good one (esp. for anyone near Greenville, SC) !!!

“…contents of…home workshop which takes up every inch of the large basement in his home…..owned a printing business…including early Ludlow Print Trays, Cabinets, Press, Printers Blocks plus a plethora of tools and equipment “

bidding is online from jan 15-19

I looked at that auction today. Man O Man do I wish I was closer to greenville. There’s at least 2 ludlows there with tons of faces and sticks.